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The gaping maw of Karrimor - Tactical Ninja

Sep. 13th, 2013

08:57 am - The gaping maw of Karrimor

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So there's this thing going round where people post photos of the stuff they carry around with them. Most people so far seem to be those organised types that actually take things out of their bags when they get home, and so only really carry the stuff they've decided on for any given day.

I am not those people. I was brought up to consider contingencies, and this has led to carrying all sorts of crap I 'might need'. Also, I'm a bit absentminded so it's often easier for me to just have a thing in my bag all the time rather than try to remember to put stuff in on specific occasions. This is the result.


Here is a picture of my bag with my Kindle beside it for scale. It's a two-compartment, backpack style bag, aptly called a 'Karrimor'.



Now here are its contents:



1. Hat, scarf, gloves. Wellington's weather is unpredictable and has been known to drop 10 degrees in half an hour without warning. Folks who move away from here to more settled climates take a while to stop carrying a jacket wherever they go "just in case".

2. Reusable shopping bag (that black square-ish thing at the top left). I'm a tree hugger, what can I say?

3. Keys - house, car, swipe tags for work and the gym. Sheep key ring given to me by a student long ago.

4. Card wallet (black one), cash purse (garish swirly one). Separate because when I had them together I kept losing it and this way I only lose half my stuff if I do that.

5. Lighter. Holdover from being a smoker. Still goes, oddly enough.

6. Batteries for the camera I don't carry any more.

7. Shepherd's whistle, because you never know when you're going to need to pull out a good wolf whistle, right? Or maybe round up some sheep.

8. Comb, nail file, nail clippers, hair ties, dental floss. This is the extent of my personal grooming paraphernalia, since makeup isn't really a thing for me. If I didn't carry the nail stuff I'd chew my nails to the quick every time they got a catch.

9. Loyalty cards. Mostly fabric, craft and DIY shops. One grocery.

10. Sunnies.

11. Moon cup, because even after 30 years, my period sometimes takes me by surprise.

12. Kindle. <3 Kindle, especially on the bus.

13. Random key that I don't know what it opens.

14. Tin of mints that doesn't have any mints in it but is a cool tin given to me by pombagira. It has a sheep on it, which is grinning maniacally.

15. 2 x flash drives. Not because I'm a filthy pirate... ok yes I am a filthy pirate. Like everyone else in New Zealand. Give us legit ways of paying for media, you knobs!

16. Lip balm x 2, because it's windy here.

17. Wrist wraps, ostensibly for doing handstands. More likely to be used in some first aid emergency one day, right? Right?

18. 2 x Moo card holders. One with the professional ones, one with the not-so-much ones. I couldn't fit everything I do on one card, ok?

19. Ball point pen and a sharpie. I used to have lots more pens but someone nicked them all. Sharpie is left over from the move and has now been taken out.

20. Eye liner pencil that I use for drawing Fereldan tattoos on my face for pictures. Left over from last photoshoot.

IT'S ALL COMPLETELY NECESSARY YOU GUYZ!

*ahem*

So while I was arranging this stuff, Dr Wheel was all "Do mine, do mine!" So I did. It provides something of a contrast. For a start I could fit his bag in the same picture. Also, his bag is way bigger than mine, but...



1. Old Spice deodorant. Look at your boyfriend. Now back at Dr Wheel..

2. Bag of peppermints. Sustenance!

3. Pen (stolen from me, I might add).

4. Hand cream.

5. Swiss army knife. For all your boyscouting needs.

6. Small silver jointed fish that is apparently a lucky travel fish.

He would also like to point out that sometimes he carries his wallet and keys in there as well. But still. WHY SUCH A BIG BAG, DR WHEEL?


Yesterday, while I was walking down Taranaki, a guy going the other way said "Hey!" So I turned, and he said "You look beautiful." I was all O.o and mumbled "Thank you" and stumbled on. I heard over my shoulder as I went, "I've noticed you before..."

I want to feel flattered and complimented. I was wearing my matrix raincoat with the hot pink lining, and because of the pink in my hair and (oh shit I'm that person!) pink top, I was a study in pink and black contrast. So I probably did look.. effective? I'm sure the guy meant to be nice, and if he'd stopped with the compliment I'd be fine with it. Yes, yes, what gives men the idea they have the right to comment on my appearance, I'm a person not a decoration etc etc, but I actually think that complimenting people in a genuine way is part of the grease that keeps the wheels of community turning, and isn't always coming from a place of privilege and patriarchy. Sometimes folks are just being nice, you know, and I'm happy to take that at face value.

But that last comment creeped me out just a little. Probably wasn't meant to, it was probably meant as a follow up nice thing to say, but what it did was make me uncomfortable enough so I took a different way to work today to avoid running into the guy again. I'm not afraid that he'll suddenly try to grab me or anything, but part of me fears he'd try to talk to me again, and then it'd be weird and awkward and I have no idea if I'm being paranoid or not, but I really wish he'd stopped after the first bit and let it rest at that.

The world's a pretty messed up place if someone being nice has me feeling like that eh? Or maybe it's just my head.

Comments:

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From:meathiel
Date:September 12th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
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I may have to do it when I'm back home.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 12th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
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I think you should. I am hoping that at least one person on my flist carries more crap around than I do! ;-)
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From:pombagira
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
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ohh.. i am so going to be doing this over the weekend and post on monday.. whoot.. fun!!

also yay mints with sheeps..




oh and i had a very werid dream last night with you in it.. it was.. disconcerting.. *ponders this*
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From:tatjna
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
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I am quite curious about what you keep in your bag, just saying.

I hope I wasn't naked. I don't want to be naked AND disturbing in other people's dreams.
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From:pombagira
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
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no there was not naked..

you were going away with the rest of the tribe to dance, and i didn't get an invite.. and everyone was all like.. well shit we buggered that one up well, and i was all like i have a new job and can i come..

i think it all came about because of looking at nice places to live which are expensive.. thus stress, O.O err yeah.. there will be something lovely come nov/dec *nods*
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From:tatjna
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
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Didn't we have a conversation about that very issue just a couple of weeks ago? How being unemployed doesn't just isolate people because of not physically being in the same spaces, but also socially because of inability to participate in activities with peers? And how getting first the temp job and then this contract has changed your ability to participate in social life, but how it might take a while for the social stuff to catch up?

And I like that about you, that you're all "I have a new job can I come?" because personally, I'm kind of oblivious sometimes and need to be told. ;-)

Speaking of dancing, though, a plan is in the early stages of formulation regarding next year's Kiwiburn which will hopefully be at a shiny new site. And you are definitely part of that plan, should you be keen.

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From:pombagira
Date:September 12th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
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yeah i came to that conclusion when i awoke from the dream.. itw as a little disconcerting.. but mostly ok

also Kiwiburn *is having thoughts* could be fun to be a participant..

:)
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From:tatjna
Date:September 12th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
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It's amazing how many people are saying that this year. It might be the year for our corner or Wellington to invade KB again.
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From:pombagira
Date:September 12th, 2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
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well its that or druids.. and yeah...

i still have most of my kiwiburn kettle camp stuff... *ponders this*
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:September 16th, 2013 01:36 pm (UTC)
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I do! Honestly. I'll do this thing once I get the chance :)
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From:tatjna
Date:September 16th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Doooo eeeeeet!
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From:anna_en_route
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
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The contents of your bag are awesome =)
One thing I've found really useful that might work with your bag is hooking a carabiner with tiny LED light on the outside of my bag on those elastic cord thingies. It's great for when I decide to spontaneously walk bush trails at night and don't want to be run down by insane night mountain bike riders.

That last comment is not "being nice", it really really isn't.

It just may possibly have been intended to be nice but in execution it took what could have been a simple complement and made it all about him and that is a creepy thing for a stranger to do. It's not just in your head.

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From:tatjna
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Hmm.. I have a maglite somewhere, and my bag has all sorts of hangy-onny bits on it for just that purpose... good idea!

As to the guy, to me it felt as if he were taking a moment of being nice and trying to extend it to an interaction that felt vaguely non-consensual to me. And I think that's why I felt a bit creeped out by it.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:September 12th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
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it would have creeped me out too.
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From:richaarde
Date:September 13th, 2013 01:03 am (UTC)
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or maybe it's just in my head.

Or maybe he really is a creep. That seemed like a really weird exchange.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 13th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
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He didn't come across as creepy, apart from that one statement. But who knows?
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From:downwardlashes
Date:September 13th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
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I hate being noticed, so that would've bugged me a lot. At work, I often wear things like purple and teal knee socks and bright red or bright orange skirts, things like that. And then sometimes I wear grey pants and black shirts. I don't really gaf, really, what I wear as long as I feel okay in it. But lately at work this man will randomly be like, "You're not wearing your color today!" and like, I do not recognize this man. How is he keeping track of my clothes? I just find it so unsettling.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 13th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
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That would creep me out, definitely. To the point where I might actually say something. Because, um.. WUT.
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From:downwardlashes
Date:September 13th, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
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I've said "I just wore what was clean" to him while looking at him funny, but it didn't seem to dissuade him at all. I just hope I don't run into him again.
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From:bekitty
Date:September 13th, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
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One of the items in my handbag is a kazoo. Because you never know when one will come in handy, right? ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:September 13th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)
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We could do an impromptu kazoo/whistle duet! ;-)
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From:adam_0oo
Date:September 13th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Ooo, actually your bag does seem reasonable, all the things that don't really have a use are at least small.

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From:spotsofcolour
Date:September 13th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
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Karrimor! They make basically everything outdoorsy I own. Even my running jacket!

I used to carry huge bags back when I was at school, but I got fed up of lugging around heavy junk all the time, and also people kept trying to steal glasses from bars and making me hide them in my bag because mine was the biggest, which I wasn't down for at all. I have however invested in a 'just in case' jacket which squishes down into a little bag!



that man does sound like a bit of a creepster. Like, sometimes I walk past people and want to compliment what they're wearing, but know I'll sound weird - so fine, compliment, but the "I've noticed you before..." almost sounds like it's a precursor to "...whilst I waited in the bushes outside your house..."
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From:tatjna
Date:September 16th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
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It's true, my backpack is about 1/3 the size of the one I used to carry. But I still manage to fit ALL THE THINGS in it! ;-)
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From:thesecondcircle
Date:September 13th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
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In terms of compliments, there are three kinds of categories in my head (with lots of overlap and nuance):

1) Totally platonic compliments. These are meant as let's be nice to someone today kinds of comments. Like "great coat!" or "I love your hair." I have long hair and I'm in the habit of complimenting people, male and female, who also have long hair. It's like a club or something. Or I'll say "cool tattoo" in a pleasant way. I might say "that's an awesome bike" or "cool bag." I think that all of us should be doing more of this. It's light, it's not sexual. It's just being nice.

2) Hitting on you compliments. These are compliments designed to display an interest in the other person. The goal would be to see if the interest was reciprocated. I don't know why people would do this to a stranger on the street, but they do and I suppose every so often it works and the person says "thank you, what's your name?" or "you're not bad yourself big fella," or "hey, wanna grab a coffee." Telling you "you're beautiful," or "you have lovely eyes," or "I saw you on the bus yesterday and, wow, you just look like such a great person." A bar might be a better place for this sort of thing, "you're really cute, can I buy you a drink?" but it can happen anywhere. If you're not interested and/or available, the trick is the nice but dismissive response: a flat "thanks" or in the case of the drink offer "no thanks."

3) Creepy rapey stalker compliments. These are the ones that bug you. That make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The ones that you worry about later. "I've noticed you before" certainly registers that way to me. So does any followup after the polite dismissal "no, really, you are totally gorgeous." And anything defensive "What, a guy can't tell a girl she's pretty anymore, huh?" Anything that implies the guy's been watching you, "I saw you go into that red brick apartment yesterday, do you live there?" The comment above about not wearing your regular colors -- ick. Now, plenty of guys innocently make these comments even though they aren't rapey stalkers, then get all hurt and confused when women get the heebies and avoid them. To them I say "too fucking bad." We all need to be cognizant of how we come off to others in social situations and when that response is colored by completely legitimate fear and discomfort caused by some of your less well-behaved brethren, then you need to take it out on them, and not random girls on the street.

Sometimes I've had really good luck with this kind of direct instructive reply. Like when a coworker said I looked really nice (in a lecherous way, lame raking glance and everything), my response was "actually you should say that I look professional. It more appropriate for the workplace." Or to the hitting on you and is doing it pathetically guy "you're probably a really nice guy, which is why you should know that that sort of comment can come of as creepy. Just, you know, for future reference."
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From:tatjna
Date:September 16th, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
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Yep. I've not had to deal with that sort of comment in the workplace for quite a long time, and I would hope that nowadays I'd be assertive enough to use a comment like yours, rather than just squirm and run like I used to.
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From:rivet
Date:September 14th, 2013 10:43 pm (UTC)
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I know that guys have to be more careful about what they say, etc, but I have made very similar compliments. To me it's 'I've been noticing you around (because we have similar routes, take the same bus, work in the same building, whatever) and repeatedly thought [compliment], so I'm glad to get the opportunity to tell you that.' Or more briefly, 'you are *consistently* [compliment]'. Am I being creepy, or am I as a woman incapable of being so?

Out on the playa, a man approached me fairly out of the blue and said something like 'I just wanted to say I think you're really beautiful'. I was flattered, and thanked him, but he could probably see the slight hesitation. He followed it with 'I'm gay, so I'm trying to get anything, I just wanted to let you know.' Shortly thereafter he wandered off. I was struck by how infrequently we are complimented on our appearance by men without an implied agenda. As a result, it's hard for us to take a compliment as a freestanding interaction without assuming an agenda.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 16th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I think women are capable of being creepy, but they don't have the auto-creepiness of rape culture behind them so they have to work quite a lot harder at it.

I also try to take compliments at face value, but for some reason that second remark set off my alarms. I do think the guy was genuine and not trying to be a creep, but it came across as a bit off just the same - and I think that's because of the implied agenda thing you mention up there, that women are subjected to on a regular basis.
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From:pundigrion
Date:September 18th, 2013 01:34 pm (UTC)
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My bag contents tend to make other people weep. There ain't a whole lot in there. It is larger now though since my camera has grown.
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